I have read Psalm 139 a ton a of times before, but the depth of God’s understanding about who we are just blows my mind. He knew us before we were even formed in our mother’s womb. Where can we really go to hide from God? We are laid bare and naked before God’s eyes, nothing hidden. But thank God for the grace we receive through faith in the Son.
David understood the idea that God saw every part of him, the very depths of his soul, but finishes by asking God to search him yet again, test him and his motives, that his life might not be offensive in any way. We are human. We fail and try to run from God, but He already sees our next step, he knows our thoughts before we know them, BUT look at 17 and 18, “How precious to (toward or concerning) me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand!”
No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, there are two things to remember: 1. We are never to new or too old in our walk with Him to ask the Lord to search us again, and to test our motives. 2. We must remember as David states, “how precious are your thoughts toward me…they outnumber the grains of sand!”
I have added some “insights/commentary” to some of the verses below. They are within the brackets [ ].
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
[our daily activities]
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in—behind and before;you have laid your hand upon me.
[God knows whats behind us, and what is ahead of us, but he is with us! Whenever we lay a hand on someone it provides comfort, David found comfort in the fact that God knew not only his future, but also his past]
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
[These are poetic expressions made to represent the highest and lowest points]
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
[the sun rises in the East, this is a poetic description of traveling as far east as possible]
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
[this is a poetic expression of traveling the opposite direction, as far as possible to the west, through these illustrations the psalmist is explaining that no matter how far we try to go to get away from God, he is there!]
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
[Envision the delicacy of a baby. Now understand that God has softly, delicately, and precisely knit us together]
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
David began the Psalm by stating, “you have searched me.” He fully understood his relationship with the Lord and knew that over the course of his life that his motives may have changed. He desired God to search him again and make sure that there was nothing within him that would hinder his life from honoring God to the fullest.
Remember, there is no place we can go to get away from God, that he does not already see us. He knows our past, as well as our future. And, remember, his thoughts toward you are precious and outnumber the grains of sand!